The Commentaries

I taught a real estate course for The Learning Annex in the early 90s: Real Estate, The Buyer's Perspective. In an effort to entice folks to educate themselves about some boring concepts relevant to the home purchasing/selling process I wrote a few odd-ball "essays" dealing with issues such as fiduciary, risk management, buyer inspections, seller disclosures, pocket listings, procuring cause, mortgage financing .....


EVERYONE HAS A FRIEND IN REAL ESTATE

Dusting off Aunt Rose

Sure libertarians will go ballistic. But consider: everyone who had a friend in real estate now has three friends and one distant relative in the business. Which one to use? The consumer sorely needs another law. Our legislators must approve as an urgency measure The Family & Friends Pecking-Order Relieved Consumer Act.


INTERPLAY OF RATES & POINTS

What's your Best Rate, Tomorrow?

Originally I considered publishing a stream of consciousness newsletter to be entitled Portnoy's Real Estate Complaints, comparing defects in homes to sexual dysfunctions. However, this would apparently violate both copyright law and common decency.


AT THE RISK OF RECOMMENDING

The Rule of Three

"I can't help you. You definitely need to see a Board certified specialist."

"What kind, doctor," I whispered?

"Well, my attorney doesn't want me to go out on a limb here. But I can tell you this. The American Board of Medical Specialties sanctions 24 medical specialties, many of which have subspecialties."

"Can you narrow it down to three," I asked?


CONDOMINIUM CONVERSION

Open Letter to Queen Amadala

Your Majesty, I write from the wondrous peninsula of San Francisco, at the edge of our Pacific Ocean. I forward this plea into Virtual Reality with a prayer that it reach you in time. Many tenants throughout our Kingdom have purchased homes for their families. However, the Imperial Viceroys will not let them move in.


SEE NOTHING, HEAR NOTHING, SAY NOTHING

The Kitchen Aide

I read a suggestion from an E&O insurance specialist to real estate licensees that they should sit alone in the kitchen, leaving home buyers and their contractors to inspect the home on their own - elevating risk management to the status of five hundred pound gorilla-hood.


SWEETENING THE POT

The Sea of Algebra

What harm, one would think, could come out of reading one too many "How to Buy Your First Home" books. Well. Let me tell you about the lady who faxed the following message to me as she slipped ever so slowly into the gray Sea of Algebra.


POCKET LISTINGS

Pocket Listings 101

The term "Pocket Listing" comes to us, through a somewhat tortuous route, from the Latin, "Populi, domum pro vobis habebo" - "Folks, do I have a place for you!" Family, friends, co-workers, people on the street - all will advise you that in this hot market you've got to hook up with the agent who has the pocket listing that just matches your dream home. Competence, loyalty, professionalism are fine, but expendable. Go for the pocket listing! This primer teaches you how to do just that.


WILL ANY AGENT DO?

You Invited Who? to the Prom

Honey, I do. I love the stuff. Tupperware® is the best. But please, not another house party. Tell Bill and Marge 'thanks, but no thank you. We've gotta get smart about spending serious money. Anyway, don't they both have real estate licenses?


PROCURING CAUSE

A Marriage Made in Chicago

The handsome groom lifts his lovely bride into his manly arms, she nudges open the front door with her stocking feet, and they cross the threshold together, giggling. A marriage made in heaven.

Some early Realtors fell in love with this scene when they first viewed it in a nickelodeon on North Michigan Avenue. They decided to replicate it by adopting The Threshold Rule .....


SELLER DISCLOSURES

Giving Credit to the Morlocks

The year, 1976. The place, Diablo, California. Some day historians will record that it all started rather innocently. Could it have been avoided? Astrologers will shake their collective heads: "No," their grave response."


RISK MANAGEMENT GONE WILD

The Stamp

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out how to keep homebuyers from suing The Company. You are certainly allowed to utilize common business practices. But for something unique, let me relate to you what real estate folk, the leading practitioners of litigation-prevention techniques, have devised. Of course, if you tell anyone that I told you about The Stamp, the Secretary will disavow my authorship of this Commentary.


DUTY TO CLIENTS

Of squirrels and dogs

No matter how fast or how slow the man encircled the tree, the squirrel kept to the other side of the tree. Half of those around the campfire argued that the man went around the squirrel. The other half disagreed: the man did NOT go around the squirrel. So when he returned to the camp site both sides looked to William James to break the tie.


MATCHMAKING REALTOR

The Meeting

M... and I were taking one last look at his home-to-be before drafting an offer. It was past the dinner hour and night had fallen. I left the front door ajar, so as not to alarm A..., the seller, in case she arrived while we were still there. She did, but was very gracious and let him complete his inspection.


RENT V BUY

The stuff of dreams

"Dr. Laura, I cried, "forget the kids. I am my clients' Realtor, and I have a moral dilemma. For years I have advised clients that home ownership is the American Dream. Well, I have just read Home Ownership: The American Myth. Myth -of all things! My question for you is this: How can I set things straight with my clients?"


Copyright ©1996 through current year, Leopold A Rodriguez
All Rights Reserved